TOYOTA GAZOO Racing primed for final round of 2023 W2RC in Morocco
The final race of the 2023 World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC) is the iconic Rally of Morocco, and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing is ready to defend their championship title. Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver, Mathieu Baumel, will be campaigning their trusty Dakar-winning GR DKR Hilux T1+, which has proven the car to beat during the past two W2RC seasons.
As it stands, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing has already amassed an unassailable lead in this year’s title chase, and has been crowned as the championship manufacturer for the year. The same is true for Mathieu Baumel, who wrapped up his second consecutive W2RC title following the crew’s victory at the Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina last month.
The only title that is still outstanding for the team, is the drivers’ championship, where Nasser currently holds a lead of 51 points over Yazeed Al Rahji in second place. Third place currently belongs to Juan Cruz Yacopini, with both Al Rahji and Yacopini driving privately entered versions of the Toyota Hilux T1+.
The Rally of Morocco traditionally serves not only as the final round of the W2RC, but also as an opportunity for the major role players to test their Dakar cars in real-world conditions, against other crews. As such, the rally is an important part of the season, and TGR will be aiming to not only win the driver’s title, but also keeping a close watch on the competing teams.
This year’s Rally of Morocco takes place from 13 to 18 October, and covers a total of five competitive stages. The route starts in the coastal city of Agadir, before traveling inland to Zagora and Merzouga, where the race will conclude. The race distance will total 2,219 km, of which 1,449 km will be special stage racing.
Alain Dujardyn, TGR W2RC Team Principal: “We are excited to arrive at the final event in this year’s W2RC having already sealed two of the three available championship titles. Now, we are aiming for Nasser to win his second consecutive title, which would give us a clean sweep in the championship for the second year in a row.”
Nasser Al-Attiyah: “The Rally of Morocco is one of my favourite races. I have won the race six times, of which four times was with Toyota. Now, we have an opportunity to make it five for Toyota, and if we manage to win, I have a second W2RC title to enjoy. But the race is long and usually quite tough, and we must respect the desert. With that said, the GR DKR Hilux T1+ powerful and tough, so we definitely have the right tool for the job.”
Mathieu Baumel: “In a sense, the pressure for me is somewhat less this time out, as I’ve already won the co-driver’s title for the year. Even so, we always aim for victory, and this event will be no exception. The navigation in Morocco can be very tricky, especially in the dunes of Merzouga. But we are ready, and looking forward to the race.”
W2RC DRIVER STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 4:
1. N. AL-ATTIYAH (QAT), TOYOTA GAZOO RACING, 189
2. Y. AL RAJHI (SAU), OVERDRIVE RACING, 138
3. J. YACOPINI (ARG), OVERDRIVE RACING, 109
4. S. LOEB (FRA), BAHRAIN RAID XTREME, 101
5. S. HALPERN (ARG), X-RAID MINI, 89
W2RC CO-DRIVER STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 4:
1. M. BAUMEL (FRA), TOYOTA GAZOO RACING, 189
2. T. GOTTSCHALK (DEU), OVERDRIVE RACING, 119
3. D. OLIVERAS (ESP), OVERDRIVE RACING, 109
4. F. LURQUIN (BEL), BAHRAIN RAID XTREME, 101
5. B. GRAUE (ARG), X-RAID MINI, 89
W2RC MANUFACTURER STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 4:
1. TOYOTA GAZOO RACING, 230
2. X-RAID MINI JCW TEAM, 127
3. BAIC ORV, 100
4. BAHRAIN RAID XTREME, 90
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Two of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing W2RC's key sponsors, Red Bull and Eurol, have committed to share in the team's W2RC journey for 2023, supporting Nasser and Mathieu's efforts through TGR. Eurol is the Dutch developer and producer of lubricants, additives, cleaners, technical fluids and specialty products, available in over 90 countries worldwide. Innovation, quality and sustainability are core values of the Eurol brand. Eurol provides TOYOTA GAZOO Racing with the Eurol Specialty Racing line with SYNGIS Technology, for extreme high-performance levels under all circumstances.
Red Bull has established itself as the premiere supporter of extreme sports and athletes, and as such fits perfectly with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing's Dakar and W2RC efforts. The Austrian energy drink manufacturer has partnered with Nasser, Mathieu and TGR over numerous years, and the involvement bore fruit when Nasser and Mathieu won a second Dakar title for TGR in January 2022.
The team is also supported by Jonsson Workwear and USN.